It's mid August and again trout season for the rivers and streams is fast approaching here in Victoria. While the rivers are still closed for a few weeks yet there's still plenty happening on the trout scene for anglers to get amongst! Emma from the Women In Recreational Fishing group recently went up to Eildon to fish the lake, and although it was foggy, overcast and freezing cold she did manage to get into some lovely brown trout. Many of the browns from the lake here spend their time in the open water and take on a very pale brown/silver appearance, with not as many spotted markings as their river cousins. For those fishing the lake, the ever reliable tassie devils have still been producing, especially when upgraded with ultra-sharp assist hooks.


Customer Paul also got into some open water brown trout, although down at Blue Rock Lake. Paul was fishing from his hobie kayak where he slow trolled tassies around the drop-offs and timbered edges of the lake to land some trout to around 45cm. Paul found all of the fish to be actively feeding in the open water, and have the same pale silvery appearance. The best tassie on the day was the no55 pink, fished on 'Dancing Jack' assist hooks.


On the bait fishing scene, there have still been some nice stockies coming from the pondage. Customer Simon came into the store to stock up on the essential ingredients for successful fishing around the Eildon area. Simon found a bag of nice rainbows from the lower pondage using the coarse method and specialist trout dough for bait.

Down at Karkarook Park there have been trout on offer for those fishing the same methods. Customer Sarah and her son Harry fished the lake recently where Harry managed some lovely rainbow trout. The best method was again the berley/feeder cage method and a powerbait/trout dough bait concoction.


A fair bit further south in Tasmania, Matt Sheriff reports that the Tassie trout season has started off well. Matt has been using his Hawk 'sniper' hardbodied lures with great effect on some solid lake trout. Many of the colours were working well but the standout have been the gold 'spawn belly' models, with some of the fish really hammering the lures on a 'stop-start' jerking retrieve.

 


While the windy weather of late hasn't been great for the boat based fisherman wanting to get out in the bays, the local estuaries around the bay and further afield have been producing some good bream. The mixed freshwater in the local systems has stirred them up enough to get the fish fired up and give anglers a bit of cover. The Patto has been running hot with the bream of late, even though it hasn't been getting fished that much.

Customer Tony got down to the river recently and caught some nice sized fish among the canals. Tony was fishing small live freshwater yabbies on fine gauge hooks on light leader to fool fish up to 39cm. 


More anglers having success in the Patto have been using mixed techniques. Customer Tony fished the main river near the end boat ramps during the week to land bream to around 35cm. Tony was using shrimp and freshwater yabbies on a basic running sinker rig. The main river has been seeing a lot of attention for mullet fisherman of late, and a lot of the berley and commotion also brings the bream around for a feed.

Customer Jake has been landing some chunky fish on lures in the canals. Jake has been using a mixture of hardbodies and plastics to land the cunning fish, but his persistence and belief that the fish will eventually eat a lure is also a vital skill to employ on such tricky fish. If you're into your plastics and lure fishing, make sure you pop into the store and check out some of the new lures available.


Down the road the Gippsland lakes have been fishing hot-and-cold for the bream. Being such a large system, the fish can be at the complete opposite of where you're fishing - especially if you only fish a few locations. Generally at present most of the bream and lower in the systems, where they school up in preparation for spawning. They can be frustrating to tempt when in such a mood, but cycling through different lure and bait options will see you eventually gain success. Customer Paul was down in the lakes system recently and found the the fish were keyed onto his plastics, with the newest model UV loaded 'Squidgies' being the most effective.


In the same part of the world angler Pat got into some nice bream. Pat was fishing the 3 rivers out in the Gippsland lakes and caught his brace of fish on fresh sandworm.

 


In amongst the rough weather, there still have been some nice squid caught. The trick has been to fish the shore where the wind hasn't been smashing against, and try to avoid the dirtier water. Lately areas like Beauamaris have been sheltered from the northerly winds, along some of the shore from Somers to Flinders has been worth fishing also. Customers Jo and Cipto fished Beaumaris during the week to score a good bag of squid. The boys found that white and green/red jigs worked well for them in the cleaner water.


Speaking of the Flinders region, customer Damien scored a cracking squid from the pier during the week. Damien found the water clarity to be quite good so persisted with a bright 'chartreuse shrimp' colour in the new Owner Draw4 series and he was rewarded with the big squid. Brighter colours like chartreuse and pink/purple are normally good options to try in cold, clear water for larger squid.

 


If there was ever a season to be making the most of the salmon around the beaches and inshore land based spots then this year has been it. The salmon have been unstoppable this winter and by normal accounts should stay strong until the water temperature starts warming up - so around the start of October or so. While there are still days when conditions aren't favourable and the fishing is hard work, the fish have been cooperating more often than not.


Speaking of unfavourable conditions the wind recently has been typical of late winter winds, constantly strong but also with a fair bit of north to it. Northerly winds make beach fishing somewhat easier, generally better than anything with south in it, so although the forecast might be strong there's still enough fishing to be had.

Customer Mark has been down at Venus Bay making the most of the salmon run, with more fish to around 2kg caught on lures over the weekend. While strong winds have meant constant gutter and bar movement, the fish are still around and hungry. Customer Dimitri got down to Gunnamatta beach and got into some nice fish on bluebait and surf poppers over the weekend also.


Speaking of Gunnamatta, it has been the best performing local beach with most anglers getting into good numbers of salmon. Staff member Don spent an afternoon on the beach last week armed with a light and long spin rod and some Yakamito 'Angry bait' metals to land some nice salmon to around 900g. Constantly moving along the beach in search of holding gutters and small pockets of fish was the key, as when one was caught there were generally a lot more around.

Members of the Keysborough Angling Club fished Gunnamatta last weekend for their surf competition with 9 anglers fishing the beach. Overall 25 salmon were caught, which was good considering the rough conditions and strong winds present. The largest fish caught was just over 1.5kg which is excellent fun on any gear - so even if the conditions are less than ideal there are still plenty of salmon to be caught.


For the bayside angler, the rough conditions have meant that there have been plenty of salmon about along the shore of the bay. Areas to try of late have been around Sandringham, Mordialloc, Patterson rivermouth, Frankston and Mornington. Further south Mt Martha, Blairgowrie and Sorrento have all been worth fishing depending on how far you want to drive. The fish have been somewhat larger further south, with some well over 2kg coming from piers like Sorrento. Lure fishing for these landbased salmon is the go as the schools are constantly on the move in search of baitfish. If you're unsure of which lures to try on light gear for long landbased-casting come in and talk to the team, as there are quite a few options.

 

 

 


Many land based anglers have been making the most of the pinkies lately with no shortage of excellent eating size fish about. Just about any pier, beach or rockwall along the eastern side of the bay with some reef nearby is worth having a look at, especially after a few days of strong westerly winds. Customer Steve has been getting a few around the traps with fish to 45cm pretty common place, and ideal for the plate!


Customer Kien has been making the most of the large numbers of pinkies that have been about over the winter. Kien has been fishing Victoria Harbour or the 'Docklands' for his fish, with many fish around 40cm landed and some larger up to 2.5kg. The most effective bait has been the humble pilchard, fished on a running rig. Heavier leader has been useful when fishing the harbour as there are many barnacle encrusted posts and objects for the fish to break off against.


James from Unreel Fishing Charters has also been having some fun on the school sized pinkies out in the bay. James has found the numbers of nice table fish to be very good, with plenty of happy customers taking home a feed of fish. Most of the larger fish have been found out from the reef a bit further, as the big schools normally hold tight to the reef for cover. Having a quality sounder to locate the small patches of fish is vital, and once found smaller baits of pilchard and squid on 2/0 sized hooks have been deadly.

While it may not seem it yet, snapper season is just around the corner. There have already been some scattered reports of solid fish around towards the southern end of the bay. Most of the southern land based spots - Mornington Pier, Mt Martha Rocks will be worth fishing from now on - especially for a 'trophy' fish. Regardless the fish aren't far away, so it's the time to get your gear organized for the season.

 


Venus Bay has really been on fire this winter for the salmon. We have had some excellent salmon fishing around the state this season, with plenty of fish in the bays and along the beaches - but Venus Bay has been a real stand out. While the fish numbers are fairly good, you can still have an average day if you don't pay attention to the small things. Berley. Reading the beach for gutters and holes. Paying attention to current or drift direction. When you put all the small things together you have a much better chance at having a good day.

Michelle Kelly fished Venus Bay over the weekend with her husband to land 6 nice salmon all up, with Michelle landing 5 of them including a double hook up. A mixture of soft plastic and surf poppers spiced with bluebait got the job done.


Customer Mark fished Venus Bay over with weekend with his uncle where they had a good session spinning. Mark has been mixing things up down at Venus with some bait fishing and spinning, with some days bait outfishing lures and vice versa. With better conditions for spinning over the weekend Mark decided to persist with the lures and ended up with some nice fish. Pilchard pattern and blood head metals did the job, and light jig assist style hook kept fish on right to the beach. 


If you aren't using assist style hooks on your salmon lures this season then you really should be. The disadvantage with standard trebles on a lot of metal lure is the that they are often quite thick on the points, which makes them much harder to 'pop' through the corner of the salmon's jaw - and results in a very high percentage of fish frustratingly shaking themselves off in the shorebreak. The assist hook proves one single hook point which holds all of the fishes weight, and prevents them shaking the lure out with a shock-absorbing kevlar cord connecting the hook to the lure. If you're unsure just ask us and we can show you the correct set up, which should increase your odds!

 


Although Murray cod season is not far from closing this year, Lake Eildon remains open year round - and is an excellent option if you want to come tight to a cod, especially a big one! While the fishing at this time of year can be hard going, the rewards are there for those putting in all those casts. EJ Todd Victorian Representative Mitch has putting in the time using swimbaits and big surface lures and has connected to some proper slob cod over the last week or so. Dobyns swimbait rods have been good to him in casting heavy baits all day long. 


Meanwhile, customer Will also stayed connected to a nice mid 70cm fish from the lake over the weekend. Will came in store to look at hook upgrades for his lures after having a fish roll off recently, and after some advice and a terminal tackle top up his first bite stayed on and made it to the net. Hook upgrades for chunky lake cod are a must!

In a different area of the lake, Nick also managed to get a real toad of a cod just under 85cm in the boat. Nick is the Victorian agent for Viva Fishing and Megabass Australia. Nick's favourite Megabass rod 'The Poker' made short work of this fish in around vertical timber.


The successful lure for Nick was the Megabass Vatalion in carp colour. The Vatalion is fast becoming a firm favourite for anglers wanting a smaller profile swimbait easily castable on lighter gear. They have a very positive body roll and tail kick at slow speeds and are getting the better of the Eildon cod. Pop in store if you want to check them out before they sell out!

 


Eildon pondage has been a good area to escape the winter weather providing you're dressed to suit the conditions! Some large trout have been caught in the pondage, with most on dough style baits. Customer Jozef and his wife Margaret fish the pondage regularly and caught some very nice rainbow trout last week. Jozef caught a lovely rainbow using trout dough Margaret caught a larger one on powerbait! Both of the fish were exceptional but Margaret takes the cake this time around!


Lakes such as Rowville and Karkarook have been fishing reasonably well considering the weather. Keen angler Tommy has been catching redfin around the reed stand edges on small shallow running hardbodies such as the Hawk 'sniper'. Small minnow imitating lures do well over the cooler months as the baitfish school up and provide an easy meal for the redfin and trout. Karkarook and Rowville have both been fishing well with trout dough and powerbait techniques as this will generally see you catch more trout than redfin. 

 


The Western Lakes near Camperdown have been a bit quieter of late but there have still been a few fish caught by persistent anglers. Lead-lining and downrigging seems to to be the most constant producing methods but there have been some nice fish caught from the shore by anglers casting hardbodied lures into the wind.

Customer Mick returned from Bullen Merri where he caught and released over nice school sized rainbow trout. Mick kept a handful for a feed and found that the best method for him was shallow downrigging at 4m with 13g tassie devils. A variety of colours worked with added UV orange standing out on any colour.

 


The bread and butter species like gars and squid have been good in spells of clearer weather over the last week or so. The usual pattern seems to be salmon and pinkies during rough weather with dirty water, and then once the water clears up and wind drops out the squid and garfishing is much better. Picking the conditions to suit will better odds on your chosen species. If it's gars you're after, then the main hot spots have been Beauy, Frankston and Mornington piers. Fishing in a bit shallower at these locations is normally the preferred area for the garfish as they become easy prey once out of the shallow's safety.

Fishing small pieces of silverfish and prawn has been good, so long as your float setup is correctly balanced and your berley is fine particle rather than chunks. You want the fish to swim through the 'mist' and become hungry rather than eat the big pieces. Staff member Dylan fished for gars earlier during the week where some real chunky fish were caught on small pieces of peeled prawn. Dylan didn't have the correct gear on him so where he caught one others would catch two. Being prepared for small changes in conditions will see you stay on top of the fish.


On the squid front things have been good for customers getting out and making the most of the breaks in the weather. Customer Long caught his bag of squid from the boat down the bottom end of the bay with smaller 2.5 jigs working the best. Long found that the shallower water was holding the small baitfish and numbers of squid after a recent rough front that passed through.


The piers around the southern end of the bay have been the most consistent performers recently as well. The only real weather that seems to affect these piers are days of rough onshore northerly winds, but even then the strong tides shift the clean water back into place quicker than the top end of the bay. Customer Cipto has been catching some nice squid from Sorrento pier and has even found a trevally or two hanging around. Cipto has been finding natural shrimpy greens and blacks have been the best performing jigs colours.

Customer Steve has also been catching some solid squid from the southern piers. Steve has been catching some proper squid but he has had to work hard for them. Constant jig changing and equal persistence has been the key to coming home trumps.